Guest written by Rain Andersen (@wearenotfriends_), a marketing and e-commerce coordinator for Lovers. Rain is a retired sex worker, pleasure advocate, and sexual wellness expert. Rain has worked in the adult entertainment industry for eight years and in the adult retail industry for four years.
- A Brief History of the Dildo
- 5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Dildo
- 5 Dildo Trends You Need to Try
They say that the tools created during the Paleolithic Period were some of the most essential to human development. Hammerstones were used for breaking things open- allowing us to build shelters and become more effective foragers. Stone flakes were used to sharpen edges- essential for hunting food and protecting land.
Is it possible that the stone dildo ranked among one of these few stone age necessities? Stone artifacts have revealed a great deal about the evolution of human behavior and sexuality. Could they also provide insight into the ways that we approach and prioritize pleasure?
Sex en Piedra, Archaeological Center of Altamira
During the Han Dynasty bronze, porcelain, and cast-iron dildos began to be commercialized; often found among the remains of Western China’s elite. The inclusion of dildos in Chinese burial rituals suggests that pleasure was considered an important component of a balanced life. It also alludes to the way that pleasure was beginning to be commodified: accessible to people we collectively viewed as “successful.” In other words, pleasure was a condition of success, rather then the foundation of it. This philosophy underpinned 20th Century American politics, inspiring women, LBGQTIA+, and other minorities to challenge the systems that had gatekept pleasure and autonomy. The Woman’s Rights Movement, Golden Era of Pornography, and AIDS Crisis helped to shift public attitudes around sex and pleasure, vital to the evolution of the dildo.
In 1965, a man named Gosnell Duncan sustained an injury that would leave him paralyzed below the waist. This inspired the creation of the first silicone dildo. Duncan had little success with marketing his product to other disabled people, so he shifted his focus to woman-owned sex stores. Duncan collaborated with Dell Williams, the owner of Eve’s Garden, to create the first non-representational dildo. We’ve already seen some evidence of how this has impacted the way humans approach pleasure.
The innovation of sex toys like the dildo have played a vital role in our ability to not only access pleasure, but to feel entitled to it. Our attempts to censor human sexuality throughout history, has only further legitimized the use of sex toys (like the dildo). How will future innovations in sex toys continue to challenge our definition of pleasure? If we can manage to refine the ways that we think and talk about pleasure, perhaps we can gain a greater appreciation for it.
Aesthetic: Did you know that humans process visual stimuli quicker then they process any other sensation? This is why many people have a visceral reaction to realistic (representational) sex toys. Some people enjoy the look and feel of a realistic sex toy because it helps them to construct more vivid fantasies during use. On the other hand, you may find realistic sex toys to be unappealing; a cheap imitation or a disembodied nightmare. When it comes to selecting your first dildo, knowing whether you want a representational or non-representational dildo can help to eliminate any unqualified contenders.
Material: You can narrow down what style of dildo you want by considering different types of material. The material of your sex toy can influence whether or not it can support a motor, what it feels like against the skin, and other important factors that effect the way we process stimulation. Softer materials like UR3 and silicone are designed to feel like flesh, perfect for recreating the sensation of being penetrated by a partner. Materials like glass, steel, and ceramic offer their own benefits, excellent for applying pressure to the erogenous zones and conducting heat.
Shape: The shape of your dildo may give you some clues as to how your toy will feel during use. Shorter dildos or dildos with a natural curve are better suited for G-spot and prostate stimulation, while longer and girthier dildos can provide a sensation of fullness. Think about what types of sensations most intrigue you to help you determine the length, width, and texture of your toy.
Density: Knowing the density of a dildo can help you to understand how rigid a toy will feel once it is inserted. A dildo’s density refers to its firmness, and can determine how much movement or flexibility your dildo has. Look at the packaging of your sex toy to learn more about its density- a popular selling point for various styles of dildos. Want to learn more about dildo densities? You can find tons of useful tips in our blog on Firm vs Soft Dildos.
Function: Nothing special about a dildo? I’d like to challenge that idea. Dildos, butt plugs, and other non-mechanized sex toys have evolved (thanks to advancements in SexTech). Now, you can find hundreds of dildos that boast special features, designed to take your experience to the next level. At Lovers, our assortment of thrusting, vibrating, and rotating dildos continues to intrigue shoppers all over the United States looking to expand their definition of pleasure.
Le Wand Hoop ($145)
Glass & Steel Dildos: Glass and steel dildos are some of the most discrete, hygienic, and eco-friendly sex toys on the market… they are also one of the most versatile! If you are just beginning to explore sex toys, you might consider buying a glass or steel dildo to determine what types of sensations most appeal to you. Borosilicate glass and stainless steel are conductive to both temperature and motion, making them perfectly suited for body exploration. When exposed to heat, cold, or vibration, these toys can take on a life of their own. Place a vibrating cock ring around the base of your dildo to add instant vibration, or soak your dildo in a bowl of water to control its temperature.
Thrust & Go Vibrator ($139)
Thrusting: Take your hands-free experience to new heights with a thrusting dildo. These mechanized sex toys simulate the act of being penetrated, allowing you to conserve your energy and focus on the moment. We suggest the Thrust & Go Vibrator, a lightweight and collapsible thruster with two shaft attachments and seven, leg quivering settings. Beginners will love the choice between the smooth and textured attachments that add dimension and excitement to every use. Lock the suction cup attachment to the base of this toy to adjust the angle of penetration across a 180-degree radius. With the Thrust & Go Vibrator, you have endless options to explore, all at the click of a button.
Evolved Big Shot Dildo ($119)
Ejaculating: Love the look and sensation of a partner reaching climax? Self-ejaculating dildos are one trend you might consider trying. The Evolved Big Shot Dildo is a realistic, multi-speed vibrator that can ejaculate a fluid of your choosing! Dual-density silicone and life-like veining provide a realistic look and feel. Refill the inner chamber with your favorite fluids using the hassle-free reservoir located at the base of this toy.
Limba Flex ($70)
Poseable: Sex toys are more fun when they are shared, but conflicting tastes and preferences can make finding the perfect sex toy difficult. Poseable dildos, like the Fun Factory Limba Flex, offer couples the perfect compromise. These dildos are made with a flexible, wire core that allows them to be bent and manipulated into your favorite shapes. For someone new to sex toys, this sort of freedom can encourage creativity and exploration in the bedroom.
Double Ended: Doubled-ended dildos are a style of sex toy designed to stimulate multiple erogenous zones at once. They can be used independently (to stimulate the vagina and the rectum) or with a partner (to stimulate two rectums or vaginas at once), facilitating two incredibly sensual experiences. We love the Ruse Doubled-Ended Dildo because it contains a poseable core that can lock your dildo into your favorite, orgasmic shapes. Spare yourself the purchase of multiple dildos, that fail to accommodate your favorite angles and sensations by trying out one of these multi-tasking, double-ended sex toys.
How to Determine Your Dildos Density: Phallophile Reviews
The History of the Dildo: Farrago Magazine
How Gosnell Duncan's Dildos Changed Feminist Sex Stores: BITCH Media